Faith in the Stillness

  • 0

Faith in the Stillness

Psalm 46:10 says, “be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” This scripture is so applicable to our present situation.

It has not escaped my attention that this year the Lenten season coincides with the COVID-19 outbreak. Both occasions call for prayer and sacrifice. During this pandemic and even throughout the Lenten season, we’ve had to strip down to the bare bones and take a no nonsense approach to life.

Through it all, we’ve learned to embrace new ways and new things that keep us safe and help us to survive. We’ve had to be still, relying on our faith to sustain us. And we’ve had to wait.

We don’t know how long it will take for this pandemic to run its course. But we have a certain confidence that God is on our side.

In Jeremiah 29:11, God speaks through the prophet: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

God loves us and has our best interest at heart. Believers make no one mistake about this. So, we stand on God’s word today. We continue to trust God‘s eternal plan. And we acknowledge God’s sovereignty.

Let’s continue to come together in a virtual environment to support one another. In doing so, we will help each other endure until we get to the other side of this pandemic. While we shelter in place, we will be still and affirm that God is in control.


  • 0

Reading Scripture with Fresh Eyes

A new day has dawned! The prophet Isaiah reminds us that God is about to do a new thing in the lives of his people (Isaiah 43:14-19). It is our responsibility to perceive the vision and embrace it for the present time. One way to accomplish this is to engage in a sacred reading of the text, using a method we call Lectio Divina.

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina means “sacred reading” and provides a way to meditate on Scripture. The method includes five stages:

  1. Prepare (Silencio) – Putting yourself in the presence of God. Becoming quiet and offering yourself to God.
  2. Read (Lectio) – Reading the passage out loud. Slowly allowing the words to “settle in your heart.” Re-reading the passage out loud. Listening for the word or phrase that catches your attention and resonates with you.
  3. Reflect (Meditatio) – Taking time to “be” with your word or phrase. Re-reading the passage quietly to yourself. Listening to where the word connects with your life right now. Asking: What do you hear and experience as you watch and listen?
  4. Pray (Oratio)- Talking to God about the word or phrase that God has highlighted. Journaling on how God has invited you to respond. Allowing the Scripture to lead you into a prayer response.
  5. Rest (Contemplatio) – Deeply receiving God’s word and resting in God’s presence and love. Giving yourself time to wait. Being still before you re-enter life as usual.

Looking at it another way, Lectio Divina’s stages provide structure and guidance to help devotional readers savor the Word as a “spiritual meal.” The practice enables them to relish the time spent in scripture and to bask in the joy of “meeting God” in the text.

Practice

I invite you to read today’s scripture found in Isaiah 43:14-19. The focus of our sacred reading will be verses 18-19 (NRSV):

18 Do not remember the former things,
or consider the things of old.
19 I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.

Now, reflect on this passage using the five stages of Lectio Divina:

  1. Prepare (Silencio)
  2. Read (Lectio)
  3. Reflect (Meditatio)
  4. Pray (Oratio)
  5. Rest (Contemplatio)

Journaling

Record your thoughts in your prayer journal.

  • My Reflections on Today’s Scripture
  • My Prayer Response
  • My Prayer Requests
  • My Praise Reports
  • Things I Have to Work on Today
  • Musical or Artistic Inspiration

Go in peace!

May God’s peace rest with you for the remainder of this day.

 


  • 0

Daily Devotionals

The sites included under this tab feature a new devotional each day. I urge you to consider these perspectives prayerfully. Blessings and peace to you!

Upper Room

In Touch

Still Speaking

Center for Action  and Contemplation


  • 0

Blessings and peace to you!

Welcome!

Rivertree Christian Chapel strives to serve God’s people who are in need of a little peace in the busy and complex cyber world. This virtual Chapel exists as a quiet place to pray, reflect, study, or find resources to help you along your journey.

Here at the Chapel, we honor the teachings of Jesus Christ. From the time of his birth, Jesus was on a mission. He announced that the spirit of the Lord was on him and that he had been anointed to (a) bring good news to the poor, (b) proclaim release to the captives, (c) give sight to the blind, (d) free the oppressed, and (e) proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:16-21). As disciples, we strive to carry out this mission over the Internet in the name of Jesus. The Chapel rests on a foundation of healing, renewal, and service.

You are welcome here, and we are so glad you stopped in.


  • 0

Pray with Me for Justice: Amos 5:21-24

Focus Scripture: Amos 5:21-24 21 I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. 22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. 23 Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. 24 But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Unity, Justice, and Peace

My Reflections on Today’s Scripture

Find a quiet place to sit still for a time. What are the thoughts, concerns, and challenges you are struggling with today? How is God speaking to you through Scripture? Reflect briefly on your feelings.

 

 

 

 

 

My Prayer Response

Using scripture and your reflections as a guide, write a prayer. Let your requests be made known to God. Speak back to God the truth and promises found in God’s word. Pray on anything you want to talk to God about.

 

 

 

 

 

Build Your Relationship with the Lord

Consider talking to God about everyday things

 

 

Prayer Requests  / Praise Reports

 

 


  • 0

A Prayer for Wisdom

Focus Scripture: Ephesians 1:17 (NRSV)
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him.

God of Wisdom, we pray that you will guide us in all of our ways today. There are so many opinions and voices telling us what they think is right from man’s point of view. Help us to hear from you and to discern what is wise and true. Help us to interpret what we see through a lens of love and righteousness. We thank you for this day of life. We thank you for all the ways you continually bless us. Help us to be still in times of trouble so we can feel your peace and joy. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.


  • 0

Knowing Justice, Knowing Peace – NEW JOURNAL COMING SOON

You may have attended one of the virtual rallies recently. Electrified words about moral revival and racial equality linger powerfully in the air all around you. Throughout the speeches, the possibilities of freedom and change resonate in your spirit. Tired, but hopeful, you watch the marchers brandish their signs. Excitement makes your heart flutter in your chest. Your passion is kindled to fight against racism and injustice. Solidarity is key – 140M+ are poor or low-income. You desire to stand with them. A policy change is in order! Power to the people is long overdue! What is it, again, that the Lord requires of us? You want to make a difference this time around, but you don’t know how to do it.

Nevertheless, you realize on some level that a modification in the narrative will not be enough in isolation. Meaningful change must likewise involve a transformation in you. You sense that, in addition to the macro-level policy shifts in political high places, a fundamental reconstitution must occur in the way you think about and feel and understand the issues if momentum toward freedom is going to be sustained. Maybe it’s your season to stir things up from the inside out, time to change the system by changing yourself. Knowing Justice, Knowing Peace will help you turn your passion and outrage into action. It will give you permission to be honest in expressing your thoughts and feelings as you spend time in private with God. Engaging in the daily disciplines of journaling and prayer will empower you to grapple with the hard issues as you seek a way forward that works for you.

AVAILABLE SOON ON AMAZON.


Reimagining the Great Commission

Sermon Videos

Grace UCC Radio